MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned NCP leader Eknath Khadse for nine hours about a case related to a Pune land deal on Thursday. Khadse reached the ED office after a summons was issued to appear before the agency. Earlier Khadse’s son-in-law Girish Chaudhari was arrested by the ED in a money laundering case in Pune.
Chaudhari and Khadse’s wife Mandatai had purchased government land in Bhosari near Pune for Rs 3 crore whereas the actual value was Rs 31 crore, the ED said, adding that the land deal was allegedly routed through four shell companies. The agency is probing the sources of the funds used to buy the land and also the undervaluation of the deal.
Khadse’s lawyer said that his client told the ED that he has nothing to do with the Pune land. “The land was not purchased by him. Besides, as an erstwhile revenue minister also, it was not his subject so there was no violation done by him as minister. The ED had asked for some documents that will be provided in the next 10 days and as and when ED asks his personal appearance, Khadse will appear before them,” he said.
Before reaching the ED office, Khadse termed the probe as ‘politically motivated’ saying the central agency was targeting him and his family members deliberately after his induction in the NCP. “A probe was earlier conducted by a commission, which gave a clean chit. Despite this, the ED is probing the case. It shows there is some political agenda behind it. However, the truth will come out.”
NCP minister Jayant Patil claimed that the ED inquiry is a farce. “In the earlier probe, nothing wrong was found out. We are confident that Khadse has not done anything wrong. BJP is against the OBC leaders therefore they are targeting Khadse,” the NCP state president alleged.